Adriano Antiquera, Director, Head of Network Infrastructure Services Global IT, Infrastructure and Operations, National Grid
After many years architecting, implementing and operating IP transport infrastructure for Telecom service providers or corporations, I am still searching for the sunny intersection where I&O architects and engineers and technology vendors meet to create well balanced solutions that will simplify the IT operational environment, reduce costs and deliver great user experience.
"As technology evolves and it no longer belongs just to IT, the low code or no code era will require ultra-fast I&O provisioning and transparency so the citizen developers in any company can succeed"
In reality the road to get there is often long and foggy. The evolution of infrastructure technology, DevOps and Cyber Security is demanding an extensive transformation on how organizations consume and operate IT infrastructure. We need to shorten the time between the proof of concept and the “go live” without increasing security risks or adoption costs.
Internal customers expect to consume IT services the same way they consume online services at home. This means we need to combine end-to-end automation, self-provisioning and a catalog of services to give them the ability to consume IT services at their own pace. In order to meet their expectations, IT needs to shorten the time from the product presentation and delivery of IT infrastructure and services by I&O, to the organization. The IT operational model needs to adapt and evolve to embrace new ways to standardize the solutions and automate delivery. Asset Management, Capacity Management, Change Management, Technology Roadmap and Release Management need to fully integrate with IT vendors, partners and I&O teams delivering and supporting the services.
Finding the balance between the right set of tools and processes to help automate IT infrastructure management to enable digitalization of processes is important but sometimes ignored due to legacy processes and change aversion. Organization leaders should acknowledge and embrace the always evolving model and be ready to make frequent changes until the right balance is achieved, delivering the expected efficiencies, educating the organization on how digital services should be consumed.
All infrastructure vendors and partners should also be able to support the same tools and processes. Standard IT solutions should feed the service catalogs, limiting customization options, while still meeting the organizations and customer’s needs, simplifying IT infrastructure delivery, release management and reducing operational costs throughout the entire infrastructure delivery chain.
The same level of integration and automation for budget and infrastructure consumption and cost management is required. IT Engineering and Finance teams should be able to understand and track IT infrastructure consumption, applying analytics to predict demand, which would enable I&O to adjust the delivery forecast. Proper integration with Human Resources, Facilities and all other internal business areas consuming IT infrastructure will reduce gaps that might drive big adjustments to delivery. Collecting and feeding the same data to the right tools will enable the organization to make quick adjustments to increase or decrease capacity.
Talent acquisition is another challenge IT organizations need to account for to ensure IT delivery speed will not suffer. Even with the right level of standardization and automation, finding and onboarding the right IT talent takes time. There needs to be a balance between employee roles and automation to maintain engagement and enable efficient and supportable IT solutions.
In the end, this new operational model needs to fit the organization, driving efficiencies supported by strong data analytics, automation and the visibility to allow IT leaders to succeed in delivering the right solution, at the right time and cost. As technology evolves and it no longer belongs just to IT, the low code or no code era will require ultra-fast I&O provisioning and transparency so the citizen developers in any company can succeed.